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COVID-19 and Health Equity


The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique and unprecedented challenges for schools, forcing local education entities and institutions of higher learning to make difficult decisions about how to educate their students while respecting physical distancing requirements and state and federal privacy laws, meeting the needs of students with special educational or language needs, and addressing existing disparities in access to technology for remote learning (the so-called “digital divide”). These resources compile relevant legal and policy information related to the educational response to COVID-19, including application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) during the pandemic, the role of school nurses, student learning during school closures, language access, physical distancing in schools and on college campuses, financial assistance, and student testing.  Additional resources are in development. Check back from time-to-time for updates or subscribe to the Network Report e-newsletter for information on the latest Network resources.    

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Real-time assistance for questions related to COVID-19 response

The Network can assist local, county, tribal and state health agencies with timely guidance, resources and information critical to key COVID-19 response measures, particularly in the areas of:

  • public health authority and emergency powers,
  • constitutionality of practices,
  • health data privacy,
  • protections for disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals,
  • crisis standards of care, and
  • ethical decision making.

Legal Research & Assistance

Experienced legal experts are available to answer questions and provide research, analysis and guidance. Let us know what you’re working on and together we can figure out how we can help.

Legal Assistance Library

Explore the Network’s Legal Assistance Library to find answers to commonly asked questions on a variety of public health topics.